(CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR) — Hurricane Sandy has scrambled the last week of the presidential race, upsetting campaign schedules, putting both President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney off-message, and raising doubts about Election Day and how early voting is going.

It’s not out of the question that the hurricane – a massive and unusual storm event forecast to rip into the Atlantic coast from the Del-Mar-Va peninsula to New England before barreling west across New York State and Pennsylvania en route to the all-important swing state of Ohio – could directly affect the outcome, changing or at least postponing the results.

Maryland already has canceled early voting Monday, per Gov. Martin O’Malley’s order Sunday. Faced with power outages that could last several days, the Virginia state elections board is planning for extended early voting hours.

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